ECHL: Rapid City Rush Transactions | Week of 3/18/2024

With the ECHL trade deadline this week, the Rapid City Rush saw a lot of movement on their roster, with many players leaving and many new players being added to the roster.

James Hardie

The Rapid City Rush traded forward James Hardie to the Allen Americans in exchange for future considerations. The Rapid City Rush had acquired Hardie in a trade earlier in the season with the Cincinnati Cyclones. With the Cyclones, Hardie played in six games where he had one goal and four assists for five points. He had two penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -1. With the Rush, Hardie played in 43 games where he had ten goals and four assists for 14 points, including a hat trick and the goal that made teddy bears fly in Rapid City. In his rookie season, Hardie played 49 games, scoring 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points. He has 10 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -12.

Zach Taylor

The Rush signed defenseman Zach Taylor from Brock University in USports located in St. Catharines, Ontario. This season at Brock University, Taylor played in 27 games, where he had seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points. During his three seasons at Brock, he played in 59 games, where he had 13 goals and 34 assists for 47 points. He also added 38 penalty minutes. This season, Taylor got to play in the playoffs at Brock University, where he played in six games and had one goal and two assists for three points, as well as four penalty minutes. In the three seasons he got to play in the playoffs, he played in a total of 16 games, where he had two goals and three assists for five points and a total of six penalty minutes.

Cooper Jones

With the Rush signing Zach Taylor, they released defenseman Cooper Jones. The Rush acquired Jones earlier in the season in a trade with the Idaho Steelheads. Jones started his season in the SPHL with the Pensacola Ice Flyers, where he played in 14 games, netting two goals and seven assists for nine points. Then, getting called up to the Idaho Steelheads, Jones played in 18 games, getting zero goals and two assists for two points. He had zero penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -7 with the Steelheads. After being traded to the Rush, Jones played in 12 games, putting up one assist. He had two penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -11. After being released by the Rush, Jones was not picked up by any other ECHL teams, so he went back to the Ice Flyers in the SPHL.

Mark Duarte

It was announced that forward Mark Duarte has returned to the Rush after a callup with the Calgary Wranglers in the AHL. During his stint with the Wranglers, Duarte played in 12 games where he did not have any points, but he did have 15 shots on net. This season with the Rush, Duarte has played in 27 games, where he has nine goals and eight assists for 17 points.

Jake Stella

The Rapid City Rush signed forward Jake Stella from UMass-Lowell in the NCAA. Prior to playing at UMass, Stella spent three seasons at American International College(AIC). With AIC, Stella played in 81 games, where he had 13 goals and 26 assists for 39 points. He had 22 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +10. Stella played in 29 games this season at UMass, with three goals and six assists for nine points. He had twelve penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -15. In his two years at UMass, Stella played in 65 games, with seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points. He had 16 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -16. Through his five collegiate seasons, Stella played in 146 games, where he had 20 goals and 41 assists for 61 points.

Jason Pawloski

The Rush also released goaltender Jason Pawloski. This season with the Rush, Pawloski played in 11 games totaling 419 minutes on ice and a record of 2-3-0. He faced a total of 224 shots where he made 197 saves and had 27 goals against for a total of 3.87 goals against average and a save percentage of .879. Pawloski has yet to sign with another team.

Christian Propp

With the Rush releasing Pawloski, they signed goaltender Christian Propp out of Wilfrid Laurier University in USports located in Waterloo, Ontario. This season, Propp played 24 games for 1433 minutes on ice and a record of 11-13-0. He had a 2.81 goals-against average and a save percentage of .924. He also played for the team in the playoffs, where he played in five games playing in a total of 300 minutes and had a record of 3-2-0. He had an average of 3.21 goals against and a save percentage of .915. Through his four seasons at Wilfred, Propp played in 59 games with 3538 minutes on ice and a record of 28-30-1. He had a goals-against average of 2.73 and a total of three shutouts. In his four seasons at Wilfred, Propp’s team made the playoffs three of the seasons. Propp played in a total of nine playoff games with a total of 535 minutes on ice and a record of 4-5-0. He had a goals-against average of 2.81.


While the team did lose some good players, they also picked up some college/university players. Whether they help the team make a push for the playoffs or come back and help the team next season, these new players coming out of college should help add to the team. They will be transitioning from playing college/university hockey to professional hockey, so it may take them a game or two to warmup before we see them really start to excel and add to the team. The new players will have to not only adjust to playing in a new league with a new team but they will also have to build chemistry with the rest of the team.

Felicity Harding

Hello! I'm Felicity and I mainly cover the Rapid City Rush in the ECHL here at Inside the Rink. You can find me on Instagram and X/Twitter at @fharding05

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